Good luck with that.
Oh wait. This is a blog post. There’s gotta be more to say.
Hanging with the kiddos 24-7 (ish) makes date night more of a challenge.
Because you’re used to being available, the kids are used to you being available, little or large kids. You’ve grown into being flexible for your child’s learning needs. You don’t have a clear delineation of your day, time with the kids and time where the kids are gone, or you’re gone to work.
When you are awake, you know you’re going to be interrupted. Whether you’re on the toilet, cooking dinner, helping another sibling with math, or when you’re talking on the phone. And when the door is closed. Especially when the door is closed.
When you are asleep, their age still interferes with your sleep. Teenagers get chatty late at night, middlers still wake from bad dreams, and littles, well, there’s no predictability with little kids sleep cycles.
Extracurriculars roam the weekly schedule, demanding your extra energy. You’re in the busiest period of your family history. There’s a lot to do. A lot to think about.
So quiet time with the husband?
Some time after the last child has been snuggled in bed, and if that one is old enough to tuck herself in, one of you is likely falling asleep in front of their medical journal/American history book/iPhone chess game/YouTube.
MiDdnight! Party time! (Or fall in bed time.)
So it might not come as a surprise that this home educating lifestyle won’t boast increased date time. Every couple years booking a weekend away with your spouse–an attractive benefit? Not so much.
But we are the engine that moves our family train, so the engine must be fueled.
We have to get away to really see each other, to clarify, again, what we really want in life, in our work aspirations, in our family life, in our relationship, in our individual lives.
We enjoy a night out occasionally. Maybe a dinner out at a fine dining restaurant. Every once in a while, a movie, a theatre or symphony presentation, a hike or cross country ski along the canal, a walk in the neighbourhood. I personally would never suggest shopping with my special someone, but I’ve heard couples wandering through Costco and even dining at sampling stations.
A week away in a tropical place? Seems divine. Also, a stretch as childcare would be an issue for us. Though our seventeen year old could safely oversee the youngers, it’s a lot to ask for a weekend. (Also, she happens to be somewhere tropical right now, ha).
Have you tried a date night at home?
We’ve tried that, and we’ll try it again.
It’s simpler and cheaper, sometimes.
If I can get the kids to make us a steak in the kitchen while we linger over an aperitif at our bistro table placed in our bedroom, then hope the kids will tuck themselves into their beds after dessert and a kiss, while we dance to our favourite Spotify playlist–I’m content.
But you know what happens. Too much noise, maybe yelling ‘Mom, she’s being mean’, or some other alternative. And possibly, you have an inordinate number of dishes.
Truthfully, there are times this has worked, but there are many more that it hasn’t.
But girl, you gotta make that time, find that time, carve that time.
When the kids were younger, I traded kids for an afternoon. Schedule that afternoon with the hubby, close the curtains, light the candles, or have a leisurely visit at a café. Don’t just finish your to do list.
I recently overheard a homeschool mama ask jokingly (maybe?) if her eleven year old was mature enough to look after his three siblings…for the weekend. Might be a bit young, but I get her eagerness.
Finding time to yourself is tricky enough. Finding time to coordinate a date night, trickier yet.
With my husband’s demanding schedule, our twenty minute trip to town, and a homeschool lifestyle, we haven’t mastered this.
So I turn to the experts: other mamas, and of course, papas.
This papa knows what he’s talking about:
A video reminding me that date night style doesn’t have to be an afterthought as a homeschool mama (actually it’s totally an afterthought in this house):
Tangible tips in how to accomplish the infamous date night:
At the end these family days, because a time will surely arrive when this will happen, it’ll be him and me again. So we have to set those times aside for it to be just him and me, right in the thick of this busy, crazy, mostly happy homeschool life.